We awoke to gray skies and damp ground although there had been very little rain. This was a teaser. Were we going to have our first wet day.
Mary provided an excellent breakfast for us. There were fresh, warm scones along with porridge on request and the usual Irish fare and more. Nothing was too much trouble.
All to soon we were on our way for what was to be our shortest day. According to our notes we had 11kms to walk. We were unsure whether this included the 2-3kms we had backtracked from the end of the cliff walk on the previous day.
Not only did we have a great breakfast but we also had the luxury of a village with a store. We took advantage of this and all of us replenished our food supplies.
even though the weather was decidedly cool, most of the days had been sunny and the harvest was in full swing. we came across sillage as well as hay making. This morning we walked past a field with rectangular bales which was unusual because all the other ones that we had seen were the large round ones.
The first 3 or so kms was familiar to us as re retraced the end of the previous days walk and then walked on and past the restaurant where we had eaten the previous night. The views were still excellent.
Which reminds me of an observation that I meant to include in the day 4 write up.
While sitting in the restaurant on the previous evening I had a good view of the nearby road. The was not all that wide however it it expand a little near the restaurant and event got a dotted line down the middle of it. Definitely a widish road. I think that every car I saw on that piece of road straddled the white line and most were centered on it. Coming across an oncoming car would be interesting!
Back to our walking.
The first part of the walk was along roads until after we passed through the tiny village of Feohanagh. We had a choice for the next 5kms to either stick to the road or follow the waymarkers along a route where about half of the way was off-road. There was a warning in the notes that the waymarked route, other than in a prolonged dry spell, the field section could be extremely, perhaps impossibly, boggy. The weather had been dry, apart from a very light sprinkle overnight, for more than a week which is just as well as we found ourselves well along the waymarked route before we realised that we had passed the option point.
Fortunately for us the track was pretty dry except in a couple of sections near gates where pools of water persisted. There were duckboards at one of these spots and alternative routes elsewhere meaning that our feet remained dry. The field route was certainly more interesting than the road.
Well before we expected it we came to our accommodation., the An Bothar B&B. We were taken back slightly when the landlord said, with a straight face, that he had no bookings for the night, and then broke into a cheeky grin.
From Mary's to An Bothar was less than 8km. This left was unsure how relaible the rest of our information was.
It also meant that we had an extremely short day which was good so that Jen and Sue could rest their feet before the most challenging walking day - crossing the Mount Brandon col (saddle).
We took advantage of our early arrival to have soup for lunch which was a welcome change to our normal lunch fare.
After lunch I set out to check out some of the local places. Initially I headed towards Brandon Creek before heading back calling at the hill fort that sits a short distance above An Bothar.
Here are some views of the reains of the hill fort. The most striking thing was the thickness of the walls.
The fort has a thick outer wall and two round inner co-joined rings. This is the same pattern that we had seen on day 3 as we passed the ruins on the lower slopes of Mount Eagle.
It is hard to comprehend the amount of effort that had gone into the building of these structures.
After a very pleasant dinner down in the bar of our hotel we were treated to a lovely sunset which we could see from our window.
A very pleasant way to end a relatively easy day.